An adorable puppy stumbling out of a festive box, tail wagging and eyes bright —who can resist such a charming sight? Many holiday ads, movies, and programs have used this formula to illustrate the stunning joy of getting a pet on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, such portrayals seldom show what comes after the ecstatic moment. Experts on dog training near Leesburg, VA discuss the reasons why gifting and adopting pets during the holidays is not a good idea.
The Christmas Season Is a Busy Time
Dogs of all ages need time to acclimate to their new environment. Establishing daily habits from the get-go is key to a smooth transition. However, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can make it impossible to set a routine.
Puppies will miss their mother and siblings, so they will demand a lot of attention from their new family —something that not all puppy present recipients can guarantee. Long-established arrangements like going on post-Christmas out-of-town trips and attending or holding parties can lead to unintentional neglect.
Puppies Are Not Toys
Kids seldom have the attention span and sense of responsibility necessary in taking care of a dog. Once the novelty of surprise wears off and the responsibilities start, most of them neglect their new pets. Unfortunately, not all parents are ready to pick up the slack. Most of the puppies that end up in animal shelters after the holiday season were Christmas gifts to children.
If your little ones are asking a pet this Christmas, take them to an animal shelter. Let them spend some time as a volunteer to find out if they are ready for the responsibility that comes with taking care of a pet.
Critical Considerations Before Getting a New Dog
Pets are lifelong commitments. Adopting a dog is not a decision that should be based solely on how it will surprise someone on Christmas morning. If you are seriously thinking about getting a pup during the holidays, consider the following:
Are you ready for the responsibilities that come with having a dog? Adopting a pup is a lot like having a child. You need to take care of and pay close attention to him, not only during the height of the holidays but beyond it as well. This will demand a lot of time, patience, and care.
Are you financially prepared to take care of a dog? Expect pet care to take up a significant part of your budget, especially in the first few months of adoption. Aside from canine essentials, such as dog food and dishes, you also need to pay for vaccinations, regular vet visits, Hamilton dog training, and more.
Is your family ready for a new dog? Adopting a pet will have a significant impact on your family’s life. Make sure all your household members are fine with adjusting their day-to-day arrangements to accommodate a new pup.
Got a Dog for Christmas?
Whether your new pup is a gift or a carefully considered choice, his general well-being is now your responsibility. Follow these tips to keep your new pup safe through the holidays and beyond:
Do not give holiday food to your pup. Puppies are not accustomed to the high salt, fat, and spice content of Christmas dishes. Feeding them such meals, even in small amounts, comes with the risk of a hospital stay due to pancreatitis. If you really want to give them a delicious holiday treat, ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
Puppy-proof your home. Most puppies are determined to touch, sniff, taste, and play with anything that catches their attention. Given a chance, they may break something that can injure them or ingest something harmful to their health. To avoid these scenarios, you must:
Transfer breakable ornaments higher on your Christmas tree.
Make sure décor with glitter and sequins are far from your pup’s accessible areas.
Cover electric sockets with plug covers.
Keep curtains, blind pulls, and electric cords out of your puppy’s reach.
Store delicate furnishings in cabinets or high shelves.
Do not leave small toys and items on the floor.
Finally, bar all entryways with a baby gate to keep your puppy from escaping. Whenever guests arrive, make sure the front gate and door are closed firmly. Make plans to enroll your pup in dog training near Leesburg, VA once the holiday season ends.
Teach your pup to respond well to “sit” and “go to your space” prompts. This will minimize jumping, barking, and running when guests come by your home. Give your pup a quiet, safe space where he can retreat to whenever he feels overwhelmed.
Train your puppy to get used to confinement. Like children, parties are seldom the right setting for young dogs. The festivities can stress your pup, and there is a chance that some of your guests are not comfortable with canines. Hence, it is best to make crate training a part of your new pup’s daily activities.
Think Twice About Getting a New Pet for Christmas
Adopting a dog should never be a snap decision made in the spirit of spreading holiday cheer. Be responsible. Make sure you and everyone in your household are prepared to commit to a new pet.
Have you adopted a puppy during the holidays? Help your new pup build a solid foundation on good behavior by enrolling him in Leesburg dog training classes here at Hearts in Harmony! Call us at 1-540-454-4098 to set one-on-one training sessions, register to our classes, and more.